Four Tips for Struggling Readers

By Huntington Learning Center

Do you have a struggling reader (or several) in your class? Reading troubles are common, but they must be corrected. Students who have difficulty reading often have problems in other subjects too—and can experience diminished self-esteem and motivation. It’s important to help these students overcome their reading challenges sooner than later. Here are several tips to help them:  

  1. Identify the issue(s) the best you can. Even if you’re not a reading teacher, start paying close attention to what your student is struggling with. Our blog on how children learn to read is a good overview of the building blocks of reading. Take note of whether your student struggles with spelling, reading aloud, decoding, fluency or comprehension (or several of these things). 
  2. Talk with past teachers if possible. Find out what you can about the student’s history with reading. Are the problems you’re seeing new? Have you noticed them getting worse (or at least not getting better) this year? Has the student worked with any reading interventionists at school before? 
  3. Approach the parents with sensitivity. You should definitely contact the student’s parents about your concerns, but make this a two-way conversation. Offer up a few simple ways parents can help their child at home (such as nightly supported reading). Be sure to invite the parents to share anything they’ve observed too. 
  4. Contact the school reading specialist. If you have a reading interventionist in your building, talk with them about what you’re seeing. You can continue to support your student in the classroom, but if the student’s skill gaps are wide, they’ll need more individualized help. The reading specialist team can also evaluate the student for other issues like dyslexia, dysmorphia or processing disorders.  

If a student needs help outside of school, refer the parents to Huntington. Our highly trained tutors first give an academic evaluation to determine the student’s reading gaps. We can work around the family’s schedule to develop a customized program of instruction that rebuilds reading skills and confidence. Let’s get your student back on track with reading!